Chinese electric car startup Nio unveiled its first sedan on January 9th, as it eyes up a share in the sizable segment of the world's largest vehicle market.
In China's passenger car market, sedans and SUVs made up roughly 46% each of overall sales in the first 11 months of 2020, according to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
The sedan, the ET7, has a range of up to 1,000 kilometers on one charge in accordance with the New European Driving Cycle, thanks to a new 150 kW/h battery that Nio unveiled on the same day.
The new model is available for pre-order and deliveries are estimated to start in the first quarter of 2022.
Nio founder and chief executive officer William Li said the model's rivals will include BMW's 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans.
The ET7 is capable of going from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and from 100 km/h come to a complete stop in 33.5 meters.
It comes with 33 high-performance sensing units, including 11 high-resolution cameras and one ultralong-range high-resolution LiDAR to measure distances.
The model features Nio's autonomous driving software suite that can generate 8 gigabytes of data per second and covers perception algorithms, localization and control strategy.
At the same event, Nio unveiled its second-generation battery-swap station, which is capable of up to 312 swaps per day.
At the new station, the vehicle can automatically drive into the station and users can start a self-service swap with a single tap on the central console display without getting off the vehicle.
Nio said it plans to have 500 stations in operation nationwide by the end of 2021.
By the end of 2020, Nio's cumulative deliveries had reached 75,641. Established in 2014, Nio started deliveries in 2018 and now has three models in the market, the ES8, the ES6 and the EC6 range of SUVs.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Nio has a market capitalization of over US$ 92 billion, surpassing conventional automakers Daimler AG and General Motors Co.